Ravens Dominate Browns, Move to First Place in the AFC North

September 22, 2008 |

What a great win for our boys in purple. We’re 2-0 and in first place in the AFC North…did you think you’d ever be able to say that this season?

What’s even sweeter is that we effectively ended the Browns playoff hopes tonight. I know it’s only week 3, but I don’t care…Cleveland is done and Baltimore is very much alive.

Some thoughts on the game and some things that I saw from section 201:

-The Ravens did an excellent job of making Josh Cribbs a non-factor in the game today.

-The Ravens dominated the time of possession, thanks in large part to LeRon McClain and Willis McGahee. We held the ball almost 15 minutes longer than the Browns today.

-Jim Leonhard can flat out play football. He was surprisingly effective as a kick returner and played great defense filling in for the injured Dawan Landry. Thanks for the gift, Buffalo!

-Speaking of Landry, my thoughts and prayers are with Dawan and his family. That was a VERY scary situation and I’m glad that initial reports indicate that his injury is not very serious.

-Joe Flacco did some great things and some not-so-great things today. In two games, he has proven that he has the ability to avoid the pass rush, stay calm in the pocket, and keep his eyes downfield. His footwork looks excellent and he’s running Cam Cameron’s offense like a veteran. We saw some growing pains today (2 picks and missing a WIDE open Todd Heap for a sure-fire TD), which should be expected from a rookie quarterback, but it looks like we’ve finally found our long-term answer for the quarterback position…for real this time…

-How exciting is it to watch Cam Cameron’s offense? So THIS is what a real offense looks like…with all of that pre-snap movement, it makes it easy for the offense to tell if the defense is playing man-coverage or zone, which undoubtedly helps Flacco to adjust as a rookie. I’m infatuated with our power package (moving Terry to TE, Anderson at RT, Neal and McClain in the backfield)…the other team knows we’re going to run the ball, they just can’t stop it…

-The front seven of our defense once again wreaked havoc in the backfield, despite getting off to a slow start. Terrell Suggs has 3 sacks in 2 games and is playing like the pro-bowler he is…he’s made us all forget about that little holdout situation…

-If Haloti Ngata keeps playing like this, he’ll be in Hawaii in February…

-The offensive line continued to play at a very high level. I spent a lot of time watching the pivotal Jason Brown-Shaun Rogers match-up…I think it’s safe to say that Brown dominated that battle. Jared Gaither has been extremely effective at left tackle; however, we’ve played two teams with a less-than-stellar pass rush. It will be interesting to see how they work as a unit against Pittsburgh next week.

-Derrick Mason doesn’t get NEARLY enough credit for his run blocking abilities…

-Frank Walker continues to frustrate the hell out of me…stupid penalties, blown assignments…memo to Fabian Washington: PLEASE hurry back.

-Stocks rising: Leonhard, Johnson, McClain

-Stocks falling: Walker, Stover

-Game ball: for the second game in a row, Ray Lewis gets my game ball. Kellen Winslow will be having nightmares about him for a very long time. And Kellen, in case you missed the number on that truck that ran you over, it was 52. What a hit! Easily one of my top five favorite Ravens hits of all-time…he broke him in half! And the turnover that resulted was the turning point in the game for the Ravens. I would love to have been in that locker room at halftime and hear/see what Ray Lewis did. They came out of that locker room a different team after halftime and you would be naïve to think he didn’t play a role in picking these guys up after the Landry injury. They came out on the field with a sense of purpose and a confident swagger. Attitude reflects leadership and we have one of the best leaders in the NFL playing middle linebacker for our team.


I’m already excited for next Monday night in Pittsburgh! More on that later this week…

Thanks to Paige and the great members of the Ravens PR staff, I was able to spend some time on the field with the players during warm-ups. I have some pretty cool pictures and will post some of them tomorrow.

Do you have anything to add? Drop me a comment…

Have a good one.